Calling in ‘The One’: The Sacred Wound

relationship, love, marriage, dating, man, single woman, wedding, abstinence, celibate
We’re getting down to the nitty gritty with the Calling in ‘The One’ book. Today we must write about the ways we have been wounded from a stance that is courageous warrior rather than victim. Can you think of a trauma from your past that left you feeling unlovable? Can you re-write the story to give yourself credit for surviving or even rising above the abuse? They say that those who have fallen the farthest will rise the highest (or something like that!). Our wounds are how we heal the world. First we heal ourselves and then we share what we learned through the experience with others who may have suffered the same ordeal. People with ordinary lives with not big ups and downs don’t get that privilege. Their lives may seem easier but in the end their purpose is different.

The central lesson I am learning from this entire experience – not just the book but the whole celibate trip – is that happiness can only come from within. There is nothing another human being can give me to make me happier; I can only give myself that gift which, for me, comes through a deeper relationship with God. I’m not sure if this is conducive to the mission of the book, but I realized today when I was out running that it doesn’t matter to me whether I meet someone or not. I am happy as I am and the only time I feel incomplete is when I see some popular culture version of what happy is supposed to be., ie., always based on something/someone outside of yourself.

Getting back to today’s “love lesson”, which says to write about your sacred wound (for me that would be my emotionally abusive mother) and how it puts you in the unique position of healing others. Right away, I thought about my daughters and how my own healing and self-awareness will give them a more competent mother. I also thought about the idea that self-awareness is the only way to heal the world and the only education we all need. We think education is best when it’s about abstract ideas, books, and historical events when in fact the most important education is learning to understand one’s inner self, what motivates you to do what you do. Change yourself, change the world.

Love Lessons

the rules, love, marriage, dating, men, single woman

I’m studying my Calling In The One book, diligently doing my lessons every morning and I see it’s all about cleaning out the crap. Today’s lesson is about “toxic ties”: those relationships that do us only harm but out of fear we refuse to either sever them or set appropriate boundaries to protect ourselves. I’ve begun to set those boundaries with my mentally ill mother and I’ve noticed that like the excuses I’ve made for her, I’ve made excuses for everyone who’s treated me with less respect than I deserve. Rather than stand up for myself, I’ve taken the other person’s side, rationalizing bad behaviour in every possible way, as though everybody else was far more important than me.

At the moment, that’s what I’m working on: remembering that my needs are just as important as anyone else’s. Sometimes I have to fight to get those needs met by setting boundaries with people. I find boundary setting emotionally exhausting because I’m not used to it, and I hope as my journey continues it will get easier. I have always felt “porous”, overly sensitive to what others might be feeling. I might be happy as hell and put me beside an angry person and all of a sudden I’m riddled with anxiety. That’s a boundary issue. I must learn to be strong enough in my sense of self that I am not changing with the mood of every person I encounter. Such porousness is even more exhausting than setting boundaries, I realize now.

I’m also addressing my fear of intimacy, of choosing men that will never truly love me, the phantom relationship if you will. I have set an intention to release a certain gentleman from my hope of ever having love with him. My intention is to have a passing acquaintance with him and open myself to someone who is able and willing to give me what I need in a romantic partner.

Calling in the One relationship guide

relationship, single woman, wife, husband, marriage, love, dating

I picked up a book Calling in ‘The One’: 7 weeks to attract the love of your life. Ooh, sounds so desperate I know! I heard the author in an interview and I liked what she had to say about finding love for yourself before you can find it with someone else. The book is written as a 7-week course with one small lesson every day that gets you in touch with yourself and others and primes you to become a magnet for love. The first lesson was a meditation on being open to giving and receiving love and it really did change the way I felt – happier and more beautiful; it was pretty profound. The second lesson is a repeated mantra: “I am connected to everyone and everything.” I’ve been saying it throughout the day and have been feeling more relaxed and more chatty with people I encounter like store clerks and so on. That’s as far as I’ve got and it’s quite promising.

I do believe that change comes from within. Nothing outside of you needs to change in order to feel better…once you change your thinking then the external things shift. It’s all perception. Our thoughts create our reality. I’m sure that’s how the book works. If you change your thoughts into more loving ones, of course love will come your way. It’s basic law of attraction. What do you think?

Women becoming the men they want to marry

love, marriage, relationship, wife, husband, sex, abstinence, celibacy

I’ve been hearing a lot about how being relationship ready requires (for a woman anyway) becoming magnetic and inviting love into your life. It sounds a lot like surrender and I can see how the approach has worked in other areas of my life; you know, you want something so bad and then as soon as you let it go it comes to you, only better than you ever imagined. I’ve found in my life that I get the things I imagine or dream about but they come in a different way than I had envisioned. I believe our thoughts are powerful that way. I’m not sure how God works in our lives, but I know a few people who believe our destiny is already planned out and we need to let it unfold. I wonder if those imaginings I had that wound up coming true (in their own way) were premonitions of what was in store for me anyway?

I’ve heard some women say you have to become the person you want to attract. For instance if you want an athletic person, you need to be athletic yourself. I understand that to a certain degree, but there are things we admire in men particularly because they are different than us. For instance, I want a man who is confident taking charge. Does that mean I become a take-charge woman? Of course not, quite the opposite I would think. We gravitate toward people who possess qualities we lack which is why you often see a shy person with an extrovert. Two introverts may not amount to a lot of fun and two extroverts cancel each other out.

I realize at this moment I have no idea what I want in a man, or if I want one at all. It’s still difficult for me to find a reason to be close to a man other than sex – and as you know, sex is off the table. After all these years, I still find it hard to be comfortable around men, still don’t know what to make of them; I can’t even imagine what it’s like to go on a date (what would I say?). I signed up for an online dating site and have been inundated with interest. Men like the way I look, almost universally. I’ve not responded to anyone, simply because no one has been physically attractive to me. That’s an old habit of seeking only handsome men. I’ve been told that physical chemistry is perhaps the worst predictor of a solid relationship and it’s best to go against type when choosing a potential partner. Let them grow on you. Looks aren’t everything. But they are something, aren’t they?

Online dating: match.com, eharmony

relationship, man, woman, single woman, wife, husband, courting, internet, online

My friend and I signed up for online dating. Yes, never say never. We are coaching one another and having some fun but no dates have materialized. It’s kind of like playing nicky nine door when you were a kid: ring the bell and then run when somebody answers (shows interest). I’m approaching men on the internet the same way I do in real life: putting myself out there, but I’m the woman so I let them approach first. I have received a few messages from men asking me to email them. When I throw it back to them they seem confused. In my world, men need to make the first move, email, whatever. When they leave you a message with a phone number or invitation to email, they are being lazy. First contact is his job.

Women are experiencing a shift back to embracing our femininity after decades of trying to be like men and realizing it doesn’t work to have two men in a heterosexual relationship.  We’re coming back to the realization that men and women are different, fulfill different roles and functions, especially while courting. It is the man’s job to initiate, give, and adore. It is the woman’s job to receive, admire and respect. And to say no when he asks for sex before a commitment. Go on, give it a try.

Published in: on November 10, 2011 at 5:22 am  Leave a Comment  

Tracy McMillan for Huff Post: Why You’re Not Married

Tracy McMillan wrote Why You’re Not Married

I consider myself a marriage-bound person even though I’m not dating 🙂 I’ve never been a dater and have been in a few very long-term relationship including a decade-long marriage. I’m not afraid of commitment, but what I have come to discover about myself is that I’m afraid of intimacy. I tend to choose men who are emotionally detached (the “man’s man”) and who are incapable of sharing deeply with me. Of course, I’ve been incapable of the same thing but it’s easier to blame it all on them. It also normalizes the situation because people expect men to play their cards close to their chest.

According to John Gray of Mars and Venus fame and many other experts (it’s science, people), our survival as a species has depended upon men’s need to retreat into silence when they have a problem and women’s need to talk, talk, talk about it to lower their stress levels. I’m a quiet girl but I can attest to the fact that my need to TALK about a problem is so strong that I will blow a gasket if I try to keep it to myself. Sometimes it is in the talking that I find the solution OR I simply feel a release of stress even if no solution presents itself. I don’t just feel better after talking it out, I feel as though I have saved my life. Women bond by talking; men bond by doing.

I came across an interesting article by Tracy McMillan for Huffington Post called Why You’re Not Married. Addressed to single women she outlines six reasons why women who want to be married aren’t. It’s brilliant in its simplicity and provides a template to follow if you are interested in attracting a suitable man. My favourite is #3 since I used to use sex to avoid intimacy (ironically enough).

1. You’re a Bitch.

You probably don’t think you’re angry. You think you’re super smart, or if you’ve been to a lot of therapy, that you’re setting boundaries. But the truth is you’re pissed. At your mom. At the military-industrial complex. At Sarah Palin. And it’s scaring men off.

2. You’re Shallow.

When it comes to choosing a husband, only one thing really, truly matters: character. Men of character are, by definition, willing to commit. Instead, you are looking for someone tall. Or rich. Unfortunately, this is not the thinking of a wife. This is the thinking of a teenaged girl.

3. You’re a Slut.

Hooking up with some guy in a hot tub on a rooftop is fine for the ladies of Jersey Shore — but they’re not trying to get married. You are. Which means, unfortunately, that if you’re having sex outside committed relationships, you will have to stop.

4. You’re a Liar.

You know if you tell him the truth — that you’re ready for marriage — he will stop calling. Usually that day. And you don’t want that. So you just tell him how perfect this is because you only want to have sex for fun! You love having fun sex! And you don’t want to get in a relationship at all! You swear!

5. You’re Selfish.

If you’re not married, chances are you think a lot about you. You think about your thighs, your outfits, your naso-labial folds. You think about your career, or if you don’t have one, you think about doing yoga teacher training. Sometimes you think about how marrying a wealthy guy — or at least a guy with a really, really good job — would solve all your problems.

6. You’re Not Good Enough.

Here is what you need to know: You are enough right this minute. Period. Not understanding this is a major obstacle to getting married, since women who don’t know their own worth make terrible wives. Why? You can fake it for a while, but ultimately you won’t love your spouse any better than you love yourself. Smart men know this.

What do you think of Tracy McMillan’s six reasons you’re not married?

Matthew 10:35

I’m dealing with a mother who has a mental illness. How does this tie into a year without sex? The self-awareness I have gained by living a celibate life over the past fifteen months has provided me the courage to set personal boundaries. I always suspected my mother was sick – she was oftentimes cruel and seemed concerned only with her own needs rather than those of her children. Any disagreement on our part resulted in terrible consequences ranging from the silent treatment to threats that she would leave, to accusations that I had driven her to attempt suicide, to disowning (which was conveniently forgotten once she decided to re-establish contact).

Any attempt to describe my situation to others was met with misunderstanding and disbelief. Most people have normal mothers and can’t imagine the above behaviour, so they either minimize it or literally believe you must be exaggerating. “But that’s your mother” they would say as if that meant she had carte blanche to treat me as she pleased. My trouble setting boundaries started with my mother because I learned early on that if you don’t give people what they want you will suffer severely. I learned that love is conditional on you doing what other people want you to do, and that you are only lovable if you are perfect. I learned that anger is unacceptable and that my feelings are not allowed.

My mother asked me to read the manuscript for a novel she had written. I had neither the time nor the inclination to undertake such a task but if you’ve been reading you’ll understand why I didn’t say no. When I opened the document I discovered my mother had written herself as the central character of the story: it was an autobiography with the names changed, rather than a novel as she had described. I did not feel equipped emotionally to read my mother’s autobiography and suspected much drama would be held therein. I closed the document and planned my next move.

What could I tell her that would not incite her rage? Here again is where my needs move to the back of the line. My emotional safety is at risk but instead I’m thinking of how to protect my mother (from me?). I thought about lying and saying I didn’t have time to read it. But I promised myself I would be honest at all times and, anyway, that response would only delay the inevitable. I decided to tell the truth and let the hand grenades fall where they may. I wrote back saying that I opened the document and it appears to be her autobiography. I explained that I wasn’t prepared to read her life story at this time and wondered if she would mind getting someone else to read it. That’s it, almost verbatim. I was shaking when I sent the email and could think of nothing but the vitrolic response that was sure to come back. My mother had turned family members against me in the past, had sabotaged me at work and humiliated me in front of my friends. And that was when I was doing exactly what I was told. Now, here I was saying no to a request. What would become of me?

The next morning the email arrived from my mother with a simple “Thank you.” You might think relief would be my emotion, but I know my mother would never let me off that easily. Dread became my new state of mind as I waited to see what punishment she had concocted specially for me.

I am the author of another blog which has become quite popular with about 500 views per day and a loyal following of readers. Once in a while I post an uplifting message on the blog to give my readers some inspiration and that day the quote I used incorporated the word “God” but mainly it was about gratitude. My readers are respectful and even when they disagree they do so in a highly civilized manner. When I checked the comments section that morning, however, a reader had left an exceptionally hurtful comment about the post: “Found the religious statement to be somewhat ‘in your face,’preachy, even borderline fanatical…could possibly lose the blogger readership.” And then I looked at the name and saw it was my mother.

I won’t go into the range of emotions I felt for the next two days but I will say that the comment represented a turning point for me: the proverbial straw. I consulted with a mental health professional who suggested my mother is suffering from borderline personality disorder. When I investigated the symptoms and read testimonials from adult children of parents with the disorder, I knew I had finally discovered what was wrong with my mother. Of the 9 symptoms of the disorder, a person is diagnosed with BPD if she shows 5 of these. My mother shows 8 and possibly even nine (the ninth is about disassociation which is a type of emotional blackout that occurs during periods of high stress. My mother has always “forgotten” things she has said and done and I believed her to be lying or questioned my own memory of the incident.)

I know I have a battle ahead of me, mainly because I want to continue having a relationship with my mother in a way that is least hurtful to both of us. I understand she is not in control of her behaviour and that if she were she would not choose to hurt me or others close to her. I write this because my mother’s BPD has caused me a lost childhood, post-traumatic stress, and eroded self-esteem. One book I read described the child of the borderline parent as “trying to keep her head above water and having her parent throw her a boulder.” If this is your experience and you see your parent’s behaviour mirrored in the symptoms below, please contact me so we can provide mutual support. I am quite anxious about what lies ahead and want to do the right thing:

A person with BPD will often exhibit impulsive behaviors and have a majority of the following symptoms:

  • Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
  • A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation
  • Identity disturbance, such as a significant and persistent unstable self-image or sense of self
  • Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving,binge eating)
  • Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior
  • Emotional instability due to significant reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days)
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness
  • Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)
  • Transient, stress-related paranoid thoughts or severe dissociative symptoms
(source)
Published in: on November 3, 2011 at 1:27 am  Leave a Comment